Safety and Security Notice:

I never include last names or specific locations here, for the safety of our children. If you or your child is a friend of me or mine, and you approve a first name and photo being posted as appropriate, please click this link to email me with written permission. Thank you

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I just realized that this is what I'm doing - indulging in (copious amounts of) comfort food to ease my concern over Abby being at sleepaway camp for the first time. Not only comfort food, but also comfort books (although I haven't gone so far as Eddings this time).

Circle the wagons; Abby's here!
My concern with Abby at camp isn't primarily oh-my-baby-is-gone; she's gone fairly often to her dad's and less often on overnights with friends or with one of her grandmothers. My concern is twofold, and neither reason is rational.

1) Last time she went camping she freaked out and had to be brought back home. Now, in all fairness this was two years ago and she didn't know ahead of time that there would be contact with the outside world and also that time was intended to be a week. This is two nights.
2) The nut thing. Irrational, because they have all sorts of protocols for the nut thing, certainly as much as her public school, and I know with my brain that she'll be fine.

So, yeah, irrational. But very real.

So on the way home from dropping her at camp, I stopped by one of my favorite places to get take out. Now, this is a place we discovered in what? 1980? A place I had on speed dial when pregnant with Lizzy. And I just ate rather too much moo shu pork and won ton soup, because they're a comfort.

So then I picked up Lizzy at Grandma's house (and brought Grandma some won ton) and just as I got there, we caught Lizzy spitting her juice out on Grandma's carpet. Why? She doesn't know, and we're mean because we put a four-year-old in time out and waaaaahhhhhh!

We worked out the consequences and started home.

I asked her why again, after she cooled down, and she said she wanted to see what would happen.

I said, "Didn't you know grandma would be angry?"

And she said, "I knowed it, but I wanted to be sure."

Such a scientist.

And life is normal again.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Adventures in Dentistry, Part...???

I've lost count actually. Replacing a bunch of leaky and/or loose 25-year-old fillings takes a few trips. Not to mention pulling five that were too broken to save.

Today was that last extraction. And I know I've said I love my dentist. I do. I loved Dr. C - he was kind and gentle and a good dentist and I was sad when he left to work at a practice nearer his home. But I was a bit distressed when the last extraction took three hours; that bad boy was in there tight.

But wow... Dr. E (who took over for Dr. C) is even better. She's equally gentle and kind. She's very encouraging and willing to tell me what she's doing every step of the way (which makes me less freaky). She clearly takes a certain amount of delight in the patient wanting to know what's going on. She even writes prescriptions out legibly.

And it only took her about twenty minutes - from slipping that nitrous mask over my nose to the end game - to get this tooth out. I was out of the dentist's office in less than 30. That's freaking amazing.

This means I'll actually have time to job hunt as well as finishing the laundry and packing Abby's bag for camp. I don't think I'll attempt school work though; the painkillers (from my favorite pharmacy) are starting to kick in. And it's not a class in surrealism.

Love my dentist.

Still hate dentistry, but love my dentist.

Now I'm going to go eat stuff with bits in.

Friday, June 22, 2012


Time was we were thrilled when Leanna and Abby would argue, snipe at each other. We were new together and they were acting like sisters (they're stepsisters) and it was proof that we were a family, a unit. If they were snarking (at seven and four-and-a-half, respectively) at each other, we were a real family. Right?


What we hadn't taken into consideration is that the age gap there is under two-and-a-half years; they're a lot closer to being peers than, say, Abby and Lizzy (now nine-and-a-half and almost-five, respectively). And a whole lot closer to being peers than Leanna (twelve in about six weeks) and Lizzy are.

Lizzy is annoying.

Leanna is bossy.

"Mom-mee! Leanna's touching my things!" (in her usual whiny sing-song tattling voice)

"I am not! She put them on my feet!" (in her usual lack-of-volume-control voice)

"Both of you be quiet! Leanna. Leanna! You complain that I never discipline her but maybe it's because you never shut up long enough to hear me do it." (in my not-my-best-step-parenting voice)

"But she--" (now Leanna is pouting because I'm not letting her make her point. Again. I'm so mean.)

"Shh!!!" (me again) "Lizzy. Lizzy!"


Deep breath... "Lizzy. If you don't want Leanna touching your things. then get them off her."

"But Jenn, I wasn't--"

"Shh!" (Leanna pouts some more) "Lizzy. Do. You. Understand. Me? Take-your-toys-off-Leanna's-feet-now."

<heavy sigh> "All wight, mama, you don't have to yell."

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's Been Nearly Two Weeks...

...since my last confession blog post. Busy fortnight.

The usual round of things - school for me and for Abby and Lizzy, a weekend with Leanna, work for the Hubs, laundry, dishes, blah blah blah. And then there was the rest of it.

Helping an acquaintance with some writing tasks (I love it, so much fun, but I'm not yet up to speed so it's slow going). Paperwork that must be completed for camps (and faxed more than once, apparently, because they couldn't find it). Running around to assorted government offices and faxing all that off to the company auditing the Hubs' company's medical insurance. Ordering new Epi-pens for Abby (it expires smack dab in the middle of July and the camps won't (rightly) take an expired pen). A preschool Spanish class recital (wherein Lizzy has forgotten 90% of the words). A preschool graduation (wherein Lizzy either had stage fright or was too busy looking at her beyootiful new dwess to sing in that either). Gymnastics exhibition and the excitement of moving from "Walkovers" to "Flips" (the group name, not the actual skills learned). Date Day with the hubs (Bagels, Prometheus (meh - a review later. Maybe.), Indian food). Preschool end of year picnic (in which they got gloriously dirty playing in the park and the adults ate too much. Fun.)

I'm wiped. And I still have a paper to finish and one to edit. Onward!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

When the Neighbor Kids are Difficult

We have this one neighbor, who is nearly eleven. He picks on the younger (but not the youngest) kids, but it's not precisely bullying; it's just bad decision-making.

I want to dislike him for my kids' sakes, but I don't.

I don't trust him, not one bit. But there's very little malice in these bad decisions, just stupid and impulsive.

He's not like those other two, the twins who moved out last year, the actual bullies, who did mean things just for... well, for the feeling of power, I guess. Those two were awful. When they moved out, my older two and neighbor girl Kiki wanted to have a party and I actually encouraged it. We watched The Ant Bully and ate popcorn and had a sleepover. I was that relieved those two twerps moved out of state.

But this kid - call him 'M' - never intends to hurt anyone; he just makes bad choices and doesn't realize it until either someone - usually one of mine - bursts into tears, or an adult calls him on it.

Today was a case in point. Abby came in flanked by a couple neighbor boys, in tears, because M had thrown her scarf in the creek. Now this is a scarf her Nana - her dad's mom - made her for Christmas, and she had taken it off when she got too warm and laid it on a bush near the creek where they play. Later on M came by, spotted it, and tossed it in. When asked by an adult (me) what he was thinking, he hung his head and said he didn't know it was Abby's.

Not the point, kid. Leaving aside for the moment the issue of littering, it doesn't belong to you, so you don't dispose of it. Period.

"But I... yeah, I made a bad choice. I'm sorry."

"Don't tell me you're sorry."

"I'm sorry, Abby."

So then he and I and Abby and three other neighbor kids went to try to retrieve the scarf, but it had either sunk or floated so far downstream that we couldn't find it, and we came home rather glumly, although no longer in tears.

But before we left the creek area, I laid down the law. This sort of thing has happened too often, and I'm afraid my girls can't play with you for... oh, two weeks. We'll see then whether we can go back to playing together. Yes, I know you don't do it on purpose, but I can't trust you to behave nicely with my girls, so they can't play with you for right now. Got me?

Subdued nod.

So we're home, and we called Nana, who will make a new scarf for Abby, and M will be not hanging around here for a couple weeks. We shall see whether this is enough for him to understand that his decisions affect other people.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Out of the Mouths... June 2012 Edition

Lizzy freaks me out. She showed me a page of scribbles appended with her name and Leanna's (for whom she drew it). I asked her about it (you always say "tell me about this,” because God help you if you think that yellow blob is the sun and it turns out to be a balloon. But I digress) and she says, “oh, it’s just lines in lots of colors; I made it myself.”

So, thinking I would be my usual snarky-parent self, I said, “Is it representational or abstract art?”

“Abstwact,” she says, off-handedly.

“Do you know what ‘abstract’ means, Lizzy?”

“Yeah, it’s wandom colors and lines that isn’t something, just pwetty.”

Did you hear my jaw drop from there, Dear Reader?

I guess she can learn something from the little brat on TV (besides whining) after all.